The 2020 Topeka Business Hall of Fame laureates were announced at a brunch event on Tuesday, October 8, at the Topeka Country Club. Three business leaders will join the Topeka Business Hall of Fame in March.
The 2020 laureates are Dr. Shekhar Challa, Kansas Medical Clinic; Ken Daniel, Midway Wholesale; and David Porterfield, Porterfield’s Flowers and Gifts.
Dr. Shekhar Challa is the President and CEO of Kansas Medical Clinic (KMC). He is board-certified in Gastroenterology and is a practicing Gastroenterologist at Kansas Medical Clinic. KMC is a multispecialty group practice with 150 employees, 28 providers, and is spread across 10 locations throughout Kansas and Missouri. His success as an entrepreneur and a caregiver has led to several board seats for global companies such as Amsurg and the Osteoporosis Division of Proctor and Gamble. Dr. Challa is currently on the advisory board for Rom-3 and Bioscience America, the parent company of BioXcellerator Stem Cell Hospitals. Locally, he has had the honor to serve on the board of the Topeka Performing Arts Center and he is currently on the Greater Topeka Partnership Board.
Kenneth L. Daniel, Jr., was born in Roosevelt, Utah. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1970. Immediately upon graduation, he moved to Topeka, Kansas, where he founded Midway Wholesale of Topeka. In its 49-year history, Midway Wholesale has grown from the Topeka location to now operating in nine cities in three states: Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri. Ken retired from Midway Wholesale on January 1, 2019. In addition, Ken is the managing partner of Wohlgemuth and Daniel Investments, LLP. Ken was elected the charter chairman of the Topeka Independent Business Association, also known as TIBA, in 2006. He has, also, served as chairman of the YMCA and YMCA Foundation boards, President of the Flint Hills Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute, President of the Topeka Active 20/30 Club, Chair of Mayor Bill Bunton’s business-friendly committee and served on the board of Fidelity State Bank for many years.
David has spent his entire professional life doing what he loves at Porterfield’s. A Topekan by birth and choice, he attended Topeka Public Schools and graduated from Washburn with a BA in English. Porterfield’s was founded in 1965 by Brooke and Virginia Porterfield along with son David, who was 16 at the time and just old enough to drive the delivery truck! The original store was at 2607 SW 21st where it remained until the early 1980s when David purchased the store from his parents and moved it to its current location at Huntoon and Oakley in the Westboro Mart. Since its inception, Porterfield’s has been a bellwether of classic floral design with an original flair. Professionally, he has served as president of the Kansas State Florists Association and has twice been on the national Board of Directors of the American Institute of Floral Designers. David has been an active citizen, including stints as president of the Mulvane Art Museum and the historic Jayhawk Theatre and served on the boards for the Mt. Hope Cemetery and the Topeka Friends of the Zoo, among his many civic activities.
The 2020 Topeka Business Hall of Fame dinner honoring these individuals will be Thursday, March 5, 2020, at the Downtown Topeka Ramada.
For more information about the 2020 Topeka Business Hall of Fame dinner and to learn more about the Kansas Junior Achievement organization visit www.kansasja.org.